New Steel and Aluminum Tariffs…PMA Standing Up for U.S. Manufacturing

President Trump yesterday signed a proclamation placing tariffs of 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum imports.  Mexico and Canada are exempted from the tariffs for now.  The tariffs take effect at 12:01 a.m. on March 23.  The President’s action is the result of recommendations from two Section 232 (national security) investigations conducted by the U.S. Commerce Department. 

According to the proclamation, within 10 days, the Commerce Department will announce the process for filing a request for an exclusion for steel and aluminum products not available in the U.S.

These tariffs will place at risk the jobs of millions of Americans who are employed in the metalforming, metal stamping and other U.S. industries that use steel. Restricted availability and increased costs for raw materials will likely lead to current customers sourcing finished products from overseas competitors, who will produce them with foreign steel or aluminum and import them tariff-free.

We have seen this before. Many PMA members will remember the 201 steel tariffs imposed in 2002 by President George W. Bush. These tariffs led directly to the loss of 200,000 American manufacturing jobs. During that time, the metal stamping industry shrank by about 19%, and PMA lost about 1 in 5 of our members due to business closures.  Unfortunately, a new study showed that these 232 tariffs could lead to the loss of 146,000 jobs in U.S. steel-using industries.


President Trump campaigned on the promise of protecting American manufacturing jobs, and his agenda, including regulatory reform and the passage of tax reform, has been mostly positive for our sector.  However, trade restrictions that result in the United States paying more for all steel—domestic and imported—than the rest of the world will damage the U.S. manufacturing sector, and specifically PMA member companies and other steel users. PMA is weighing in on the consequences of tariffs and is a leader in a new coalition designed to fight the tariffs and educate policymakers.

PMA’s Washington, D.C. advocacy team continues to fight for PMA member companies on this important issue and will provide frequent updates to members.

Comments

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